Thursday, June 4, 2015

The Cherry Harvest by Lucy Sanna - Excerpt + a Giveaway

This week marks the release of Lucy Sanna's debut, The Cherry Harvest. I'll be reviewing the book here on June 15. Until then, though, the publisher has provided an excerpt and the opportunity for one of you to win your very own copy! First, here's a bit about the book from the publisher:

It’s 1944. Katherine Hepburn is the top actress, Vargas Girls are the pinups of choice, and Nat King Cole is on the radio. But American life is being affected by something far bigger than popular culture. Even if the battles are distant, the tension and tumult of war is an omnipresent ghost. The presence of the POWs in Door County acts as a slow simmering backdrop to other pressures visited upon the Christiansen family. Charlotte’s beloved son Ben is away fighting in the war, and she and her husband Thomas struggle to pay bills and put food on the table for their family, and save for their teenage daughter Kate to go away to college in Madison.

Kate, a natural sophisticate with big plans for her future, sells rabbits to raise money for college and dreams of becoming a writer and traveling the world. Preoccupied by money troubles and the fate of their faraway son, Charlotte and Thomas fail to notice Kate becoming a woman before their eyes, consumed by her budding relationship with the wealthy son of a Senator. When Thomas befriends Karl, one of the POWS, and brings him home to tutor Kate, the gesture seems innocent enough, until Charlotte finds herself unexpectedly attracted to him. Stress levels inside the Christiansen home reach a fever pitch when Ben returns home from the war, angry and full of hatred towards the Germans, and betrayed by what he perceives as his parents’ coziness with the very enemy he risked his life to fight.

Ultimately, it is Karl’s presence that gives rise to an explosive episode that alters the course of history for Charlotte and her family for good. In THE CHERRY HARVEST, Lucy Sanna seamlessly weaves an engaging and unforgettable story that touches on a unique, true-to-life footnote in modern history.

This book is a truly fabulous and emotional read. You'll have to wait for the full review just a bit longer, but trust me when I say this is one I definitely recommend to any fan of historical fiction and/or family dramas.

The Cherry Harvest
Lucy Sanna

(excerpt from Chapter 1)

Once board members had taken their places at the front table, voices quieted. Someone coughed. Cigarette smoke curled up through the dusty light, giving the room a sickly pallor.

Bo banged his gavel. “We’ve called this meeting at the request of the growers.” He scanned the audience, about twenty men. “So what do you have to say?”

Ralph Sundgren stood and cleared his throat. He had cherries in southern Door. “I’m not ashamed to say we need help.” He regarded the board. “Our best men and boys off to war. The rest taking jobs right here at the shipyard. Migrant workers, too, Mexicans and Indians. And why shouldn’t they? Steady work, good pay.”

“Even the girls will be down here once school’s out,” Gus said. “And who’s left to pick the fruit?”

“I barely made it through ’43,” shouted Artie, a major grower up near Sister Bay, “Another year like that’ll drive me out of business.”

“It’s not just the harvest,” Ralph said. “We need men now, to prune and spray. The county’s gotta subsidize workers so they’ll come back to the farms.”

Other growers called out, echoing Ralph’s words.

Bo banged the gavel. “The county can’t afford to match the wages at the shipyard.”

“Then tax ’em!” Artie pumped a fist. “All those laborers coming in, getting wealthy right under our noses. Tax ’em to pay the pickers. Hell, they make so much they won’t even notice.”

Mike put out his hands. “We can’t institute a tax without a public vote. Next election isn’t until September.”

“Then what are you going to do?” Ralph challenged.

Charlotte touched Thomas’s hand. He tucked his pipe into his pocket and slowly stood. The room quieted. He glanced about, taking his time, then cleared his throat and spoke. “The Army’s going to be bringing in German prisoners, setting up camps.”

A murmur surged through the crowd. “What’d you say?” Faces stared up at his tall frame.

“Prisoner-of-war camps, here in Wisconsin,” he said a bit louder. “The prisoners can do the work.”

Charlotte breathed in deeply and sat up straight.

“Are you saying we get Nazis to work the farms?” Big Mike crushed his cigarette into a stone ashtray.

“It’s what they’re planning down in Beaver Dam.” Thomas motioned toward Charlotte. “My wife’s cousin wrote they’ll be working the canneries, living in tents at the fairgrounds—”

What do you think?! I thought it was fan freaking tactic. 

And now for the giveaway! To throw your name in the hat, just fill out the Rafflecopter below before Monday, June 22. US only and no PO boxes please.


rhonda said...

Sounds b perfect for me historical fiction family drama perfect for me,

Kay said...

I think this sounds like the perfect summer read. I'm trying to branch out a bit this summer and not just read mysteries. Count me in.

traveler said...

This novel sounds captivating and unforgettable.Family sagas are my favorite. Thanks for this great feature, review, giveaway and excerpt. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Lori Johnston said...

Sounds like a great book - - thanks for the terrific review and giveaway opportunity!

psychoticbooks (at) yahoo (dot) com

cpr040304 said...

I'm open to reading a genre I typically don't read. This one sounds intriguing. Thanks for the opportunity!

Unknown said...

This does look like an emotional read. The cover is beautiful. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity. I'll be entering to win. :)
@dino0726 from 
FictionZeal - Impartial, Straighforward Fiction Book Reviews

bn100 said...

nice excerpt

KAS said...

Any fan of historical fiction or family dramas? If you say so, I'm all in! :-) Looking forward to hearing more about this one...Cheers, Kara S

Unknown said...

I can't wait for your review of The Cherry Harvest. I have been trying to win this on Goodreads and get from Netgalley, no go so far. Maybe you will give me a shot at reading and reviewing this book. What do you say? xoxo I love this blog!!!!

Regina said...

I'm so obsessed with WWI and WWI fiction right now. Thanks for the awesome giveaway!